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NAB to raise $2b in share placement

Monday 10th November 2008

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National Australia Bank, that nation's biggest lender, plans to raise A$2 billion in a share placement to institutions to strengthen its balance sheet.

The bank then plans to offer up to A$10,000 of new shares to retail investors on the same terms, with the right to scale back the sale if demand exceeds A$250 million, it said in a statement.

The institutional placement is fully underwritten by Goldman Sachs JBWere, Merrill Lynch and UBS AG, it said. The sale will increase National Australia's Tier One ratio to about 8% from 7.35%, the Melbourne-based bank said.

"More favourable market conditions have enabled NAB to accelerate its capital management plans," the bank said. "Upon successful completion of the placement, NAB will no longer proceed with its underwrite of the dividend reinvestment plan for the 2008 final dividend."

National Australia last month posted an 11% drop in full-year profit after funding costs rose and the bank increased provisions for losses on securities.

By Jonathan Underhill

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